Virgin Atlantic Flight with ashes onboard

Taking Ashes on a Virgin Atlantic Flight

After contacting Virgin Atlantic via phone support we’ve put together this informative piece to explain and clarify their rules and regulations regarding travelling with ashes on their flights.

Can You Take Ashes on a Plane With Virgin Atlantic?

Virgin Atlantic allows you to travel with human and pet ashes, but they have a few processes you should familiarise yourself with regarding their transportation.

  1. Ashes must be taken onboard as part of your cabin baggage. Virgin do not allow transportation of human ashes in hold luggage – taking them in your carry-on will provide you with peace of mind, as they won’t be misplaced or damaged.
  2. You must travel with a copy of the death certificate and cremation certificate to hand. 
  3. Animal ashes must be stored in a sealed container within your checked luggage, NOT your carry-on. You may be required to produce a cremation certificate upon arrival at your destination.
  4. You must transport ashes in a ‘security friendly’ container – preferably non-metallic and thin enough to be scanned by X-ray at security. Virgin recommends that the container be lightweight and made of plastic or wood, but any material that passes through security will be allowed on the flight. This container must be secure and tightly shut.
  5. Ashes can be transported in an urn, but the urn must be made of materials that will allow it to pass through security. This urn must be placed within your cabin baggage.

Virgin Atlantic does not require you to inform them in advance that you’re travelling with ashes, just that these processes are followed. If you neglect to follow these rules and regulations, your loved one’s ashes run the chance of not being permitted through security and will not be accepted onboard. 

If the container you chose cannot be scanned by X-ray at security, it will be immediately refused. Security cannot open the container under any circumstances, even if you request it.

While you may want to travel with an urn, you may find it easier to travel with a lightweight container such as a scatter tube or a plastic screw top container.

Virgin Atlantic Flight Urn Restrictions

If you’re travelling with ashes in a funeral urn, you should ensure the following:

  • The urn is made from materials that will pass through a security X-ray – plastic, ceramic, marble, wood, or glass are all suitable materials.
  • The urns lid is secured either by a strong adhesive or with a screw top.
  • The urn must fit and be transported within your carry-on luggage. It cannot be carried seperately.
  • The urn must be under Virgin Atlantic’s weight limit – 10kg max.
  • The urn must be within Virgin Atlantic’s size requirements.

Virgin Atlantic Flight Baggage Allowance

All customers on Virgin Atlantic are allowed at least one item of cabin baggage that measures 23cm x 36cm x 56cm including wheels and handles. If you’re an ‘Upper Class’ passenger, you can bring on two bags, with a total combined weight of 16kg. These bags must also measure 23x36x56cm.

You may be required to place your bag in the overhead locker, so we recommend you pick a robust urn that will safely travel on a plane. Marble urns may be a good choice, as they are durable and will pass through security – just ensure you stick to the weight limit.

Where Can I Fly to With Ashes? 

Virgin Atlantic will allow you to transport ashes to any country they fly, as long as you have the correct paperwork (a copy of the certificate of death and certificate of cremation) and your ashes are stored in an appropriate container.

However, it’s important to note that all countries have different rules and regulations, so to avoid disappointment, you must research your destination’s policy on transporting ashes.

As all countries require different paperwork, we recommend contacting the embassy of the country you’re flying to in order to ensure you have all the appropriate paperwork. Doing so will help relieve you of any anxiety when travelling to a new country and allow you to lay your loved one at rest in their chosen destination.